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13 February 2007
Risk Impact:
File Names:
Systems Affected:


Spyware.WebMailSpy is used to monitor Web-based email.


The files are detected as Spyware.WebMailSpy.


This program must be manually installed.

Antivirus Protection Dates

  • Initial Rapid Release version 02 October 2014 revision 022
  • Latest Rapid Release version 07 May 2019 revision 006
  • Initial Daily Certified version 10 July 2004
  • Latest Daily Certified version 07 May 2019 revision 008
  • Initial Weekly Certified release date 14 July 2004
Click here for a more detailed description of Rapid Release and Daily Certified virus definitions.

Spyware.WebMailSpy is distributed as the file, Webmailspy-setup-sw.exe. When this file is executed, it installs these files:
  • WebMailSpy.exe: The main spyware file, detected as Spyware.WebMailSpy.
  • Wmssys32.dll: Detected as Spyware.ISpynow.
  • License.txt
  • Readme.txt
This spyware can do the following:
  • Record the contents of Web-based email.
  • Run in stealth mode, so that you cannot see that it is running.
  • Disables the option to bypass Windows startup programs by holding down the Shift key when you start the computer (Windows NT/2000/XP).
  • Disables the option to start in Safe mode (Windows 95/98/Me).
  • Prevent you from accessing the Task Manager (Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP).

The installation Path, Log Files Path, and Hot-key combinations are configurable.
  • The default <installation path> is "%ProgramFiles%\ExploreAnywhere\WebMail Spy"
  • The default <log files path> is "%System%\systray\"
  • The default <hotkey> is "CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+ F3"

  • %ProgramFiles% is a variable that refers to the path to the program files folder. By default, this is "C:\Program Files\"
  • %System% is a variable. The Spyware.WebMailSpy locates the System folder and copies itself to that location. By default, this is "C:\Windows\System\" (Windows 95/98/Me), "C:\Winnt\System32\" (Windows NT/2000), or "C:\Windows\System32\" (Windows XP).

When Spyware.WebMailSpy runs, it performs the following actions:
  1. Adds the value:

    "1WinCfg32" = "<install_path>\WebMailSpy.exe"

    to the registry key:


    so that the spyware runs when you start Windows.

  2. Adds the value:


    to the registry key:


    so that you cannot access the Task Manager.

  3. Windows NT/2000/XP only

    Modifies the value to:

    "IgnoreShiftOveride" = "0x1"

    in the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

    which disables the Windows startup bypass option that you can access by pressing down the Shift key.

  4. Windows 95/98/Me only

    Modifies the value from:

    "BootKeys = 1"


    "BootKeys = 0"

    in the [Options] section of the C:\Msdos.sys file. This disables the use of the function key boot options (F4, F5, F6, F8, and Ctrl) during the boot process.

  5. Logs the contents of Web-based email contents in the <log_files_path> folder.

The following is a general removal procedure. This spyware may include an uninstallation tool named Unvise32.exe, along with uninstal.log, which is located in the installation folder. The default location for Unvise32.exe is "C:\Windows" or C:\WinNT. The default location of Uninstal.log is :\Program Files\ExploreAnywhere\WebMail Spy.

We suggest that, before you attempt to remove this spyware using a scan, you try to uninstall it by following these steps:
  1. Click Start > Run
  2. Type:

    "C:\Windows\unvise32.exe C:\PROGRA~1\EXPLOR~1\WEBMAI~1\uninstal.log"

    and then click OK.

  3. Do one of the following:
    • If the uninstaller works, follow all the prompts. When completed, follow steps 1 and 3 below.
    • If the uninstaller does not work, follow all the steps below.

The following instructions pertain to all Symantec antivirus products that support Security Risk detection.
  1. Update the definitions.
  2. Restart the computer in Safe mode.
  3. Run a full system scan and delete all the files detected as Spyware.WebMailSpy.
  4. Delete the value that was added to the registry.
For specific details on each of these steps, read the following instructions.

1. To update the definitions
To obtain the most recent definitions, start your Symantec program and run LiveUpdate.

2. To restart the computer in Safe mode
Shut down the computer and turn off the power. Wait for at least 30 seconds, and then restart the computer in Safe mode or VGA mode. For instructions, read the document, "How to start the computer in Safe Mode ."

Note : If you are using Windows98/Me, make sure that you use the System Configuration Utility described in "How to start the computer in Safe Mode " to do this.

If you are using Windows 95 and cannot get to Safe Mode by pressing the F8 key (because Spyware.WebMailSpy disabled this), follow the additional steps in the section, "Disabled F8 workaround," which is at the bottom of this page.

3. To scan for and delete the files
  1. Start your Symantec antivirus program, and then run a full system scan.
  2. If any files are detected as Spyware.WebMailSpy, click Delete.

    If your Symantec antivirus product reports that it cannot delete a detected file, note the path and file name. Then use Windows Explorer to locate and delete the file.

4. To delete the values from the registry

Symantec strongly recommends that you back up the registry before making any changes to it. Incorrect changes to the registry can result in permanent data loss or corrupted files. Modify the specified keys only. Read the document, "How to make a backup of the Windows registry ," for instructions.
  1. Click Start > Run.
  2. Type regedit

    Then click OK.

  3. Navigate to the key:


    In the right pane, delete the value:

    "1WinCfg32" = "<install_path>\WebMailSpy.exe"

  4. Navigate to the key:


    (This key may not exist on all the systems)

    If it does exist, in the right pane, delete the value:

    "DisableTaskMgr" = "1"

  5. Windows NT/2000/XP only

    Navigate to the key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  6. In the right pane, if it the value exists, delete it: "IgnoreShiftOveride" = "1"

  7. Exit the Registry Editor.

  8. Restart the computer in Normal mode.

Disabled F8 workaround
Follow this procedure only if you use the Windows 95 operating system.

Important: Symantec strongly recommends that you back up Msdos.sys before making any changes to it.
  1. Click Start > Run
  2. Type:


    and then click OK.

  3. At the command prompt, type the following, pressing Enter after typing each line:

    attrib -h -r -s msdos.sys
    edit msdos.sys

  4. When the file opens in the text editor, in the [Options] section, look for the line:

    BootKeys = 0

    If the line exists, change it to:

    BootKeys = 1

  5. Click File > Save.
  6. Click File > Exit.
  7. Type:

    attrib +h +r +s msdos.sys

  8. Restart the computer and continue from where you left off in the removal instructions.